John Biggs warns against axing Barking and Dagenham’s PCSOs

Community Police Support Officer cap Picture: Sean Dempsey/PA Images

Community Police Support Officer cap Picture: Sean Dempsey/PA Images - Credit: EMPICS Sports Photo Agency

John Biggs AM has called proposals to axe all PCSOs in the borough the “final nail in the coffin for neighbourhood policing”.

The Metropolitan Police Service is considering cutting all 1,017 PCSOs in London – including Barking and Dagenham’s 42 – in a bid to save money.

The cuts would follow previous reductions in the borough, which has lost 59 per cent of its PCSOs since May 2010, and the AM for City and East believes it could signal the end of the Met as we know it.

“This is the clearest sign yet that Government cuts are decimating London’s police force,” he said.

“Axing all of London’s PCSOs would be the final nail in the coffin for neighbourhood policing and mean far fewer officers on the beat in our communities acting as the eyes and ears of the Met.

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“Boris Johnson has already cut neighbourhood police teams from six officers to only two, axing every PCSO would leave just a single officer left to police vast areas of the capital.

“There is a real question as to whether the police service as we know it will exist in ten years’ time.”

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The Metropolitan Police Management Board will consider the cuts on September 29 alongside two other options, including retaining all PCSOs and retaining 629 dedicated ward PCSOs.

Met data shows residents in Barking and Dagenham fear crime more than people in almost any other borough, with 46 per cent “worried” or “very worried” about crime.

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